Skip to main content

About this Show

Book TV

Diana Furchtgott-Roth Education. (2012) 'Regulating to Disaster How Green Jobs Policies Are Damaging America's Economy.'

NETWORK

DURATION
00:45:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Channel 91 (627 MHz)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 9, America 8, Mercury 6, Diana 6, United States 5, Biden 5, Washington 5, China 5, Diana Furchtgott-roth 3, Obama 3, Woolard 3, Russia 3, California 3, Bechtel 2, Cuomo 2, Jimmy Carter 2, Manhattan 2, India 2, Mexico 2, Spain 2,
Borrow a DVD
of this show
  CSPAN    Book TV    Diana Furchtgott-Roth  Education.  (2012) 'Regulating to  
   Disaster How Green Jobs Policies Are Damaging America's...  

    December 15, 2012
    12:30 - 1:15pm EST  

12:30pm
darren acemoglu and james robinson, government professor at harvard university, analyze the tobacco to -- the factors tt cause some nations to succeed while others fail in "why nations fail." in "mortality," christopher hitchens presents his thoughts and feelings diagnosed with cancer. the editor of thomson reuters digital profiles an extremely wealthy group of individuals which has unprecedented political and social influence in pluto accurates. in "the social conquest of earth," biologist edward o. wilson argues that group selection is the reason for human evolution. steve cole, president of the new america foundation, investigates the power and global influence of exxonmobil in "private empire: exxonmobil and american power."
12:31pm
for an extended list of ligs to 2012 notable book selections, visit booktv's web site, booktv.org or our facebook page, facebook.com/booktv. >> booktv continues now with diana furchtgott-roth. she takes a look at president obama's green jobs initiative and argues that it hurts the economy. this is about 40 minutes. >> good afternoon. i'm howard, vice president for policy research at the manhattan institute. thanks so much for joining us. the question of of whether and how government, particularly the federal government, directs tax dollars to specific industries was a discussion in last night's presidential debate, and can it's become an important and ongoing theme in the current presidential campaign. the terms on which washington assisted the finance and auto industries have also been the
12:32pm
focus of intense debate, but probably the most contentious example of all is the one on which diana furchtgott-roth, manhattan institute's senior fellow and our speaker this afternoon, focuses in her timely and important new book "regulating to disaster: how green jobs policies are damaging america's economy." in it she subjects the assumptionings and policies which led to such ill-fated federal investments as that of the now-bankrupt solyndra solar panel manufacturer as well as the a123 battery manufacturer to a withering analysis which we at the institute have come to expect from this oxford-trained economists who served as chief of staff for the council of economic advisers. sorry. during the administration of president george w. bush. in her book she adeptly helps us understand why the failures of such direct investments in
12:33pm
private firms are both significant problems in the themselves and cautionary tales for those who would have the government rather than private investors allocate capital. the publication of regulating to disaster caps diana's first year as an institute senior fellow, a year in which she has been prolific and influential, cited by writers, reporters, talk show hosts across the country. i think in particular of her many, many contributions to our series called "issues 2012" ranging from her analysis demonstrating that even adjusting for the state of the economy, the number of americans receiving food stamps is at an all-time high, and we've heard that echoed in the campaign to another in which she made clear that oil companies, so vilified by some politicians, are not monopolies controlled by a few wealthy industrialists but rather an important source of wealth and income for millions
12:34pm
of average americans. whether it's on real clear markets in the washington examiner, tax notes or testifying before congress as she is frequently asked to do, diana is a powerful and effective voice in economic policy debates. and as i know you'll agree, after her her talk this afternoon. diana further got roth holds degrees from oxford university, in addition to her position for president bush she served as well on the staff of the domestic policy counsel for president george h.w. bush and as the staff economists for the council of economic advisers during the reagan administration from 2003 to 2005. ms. furchtgott-roth was chief economists of the u.s. department of labor. she's also the author this past july of "women's figures: a guide to the economic progress of women in america." please join me in welcoming senior fellow diana furchtgott-roth. [applause]
12:35pm
>> thank you very much, howard, for that very kind introduction, and thank all of you for coming. i'm really grateful that you could be doing so many other things today than coming to listen to me, but here you are listening to me talk about green jobs and the fallacies of green jobs. i'd like to thank the manhattan institute not only for supporting this research, but for organizing this talk. and i'd also like to thank john phillip, a mechanic mechanical engineer who advised me on the technical aspects of energy in the book and who read the whole manuscript to check on the scientific details of it. well, this is an appropriate day for talking about regulating to disaster, because last night president obama promised once more to develop the energy
12:36pm
sources of the future. now, when any administration, republican or democrat, decides to develop energy projects, taxpayers had better watch out. [laughter] governments get in the business of picking winners and losers which leads to cronyism and wasted taxpayer dollars. this is the question of industrial policy, whether government should support business ventures in the new technologies that are unable to secure private funding. government appears to be worse at this than private markets from the records that we have over the past five years. in contrast, in a speech in california in may mitt romney said, quote: the president doesn't understand when you invest like that in one solar energy company, it makes it harder for solar technology
12:37pm
generally because the scores of other entrepreneurs in the solar field suddenly lost their opportunity to get capital. who wants to put money into a solar company when the government puts half a billion into one of it choice? excellent question. and i wrote this book because we're not just spending half a billion, we're spending about $12 billion a year to make electricity more expensive rather than cheaper. that's about six billion in tax breaks and about six billion in direct expenditures. we're pursuing a vision of green jobs that makes no sense and that hurts low-income americans. we brainwash our children to think that greed is good and think uncritically about green products and green jobs. and yet we can't even define what a green job is. let's start with green jobs. the bureau of labor statistics
12:38pm
has five definitions of the 3.1 million green jobs that it's counted. namely, energy from renewable sources, energy efficiency, energy pollution reduction and removal, natural resource conservation and environmental compliance, education and training and public awareness. when i was testifying on capitol hill before the house energy and commerce committee, they had a paper cup in front of me. often they just have a bottle of water, but this time they had a bottle of water and a paper cup. and the paper cup said architect of the capitol on one side and power to save energy on the other side. so since this cup fit the deaf fission of education -- definition of education, training and public awareness, the workers who made it had green jobs. if the cup had just said architect of the capitol or if
12:39pm
it had just been plain white cup, then the people who made it would not have had green jobs. and when i wrote this book, "regulating to disaster," about environmental issues, while i was doing it, i had a green job. and perhaps i still do right now because i'm talking about it. but if i had been writing -- [laughter] if i'd been writing about social security and, actually, at the same time i was writing my book, "women's figures: an illustrated guide to the economic progress of women in america," if i'd just been working on that, i would not have had a green job. plumbers, if they install regular toilets, they don't have green jobs. if they install low-flow toilets, they have green jobs. farmer, if today grow corn -- if they grow corn for ethanol, they have a green job. if they grow corn for ethanol and for people to eat, they have a green job. if they just grow corn for people to eat -- even though they're farmers -- they don't
12:40pm
have green jobs. salvation army workers, if they recycle used clothing, then they have green jobs too. well, there are 4,665 people who produce renewable energy in utility companies according to the bureau of labor statistics' latest report which came out in the april. they are clearly green. but you have to ask, are they making energy more expensive, or are they making it less expensive? well, it's clear that they are making energy more expensive. the average levellized cost for power plants entering service in 2017 according to the department of energy if they're fueled by natural gas, this costs $66 per megawatt hour. for wind, $96 per megawatt hour. for solar power, $153 per megawatt hour. well, five years ago in 2007
12:41pm
when the energy loan guarantee program was put in place and many of these subsidies for solar and wind, we didn't know that we were sitting on 200 years of inexpensive natural gas. so maybe it was logical for people then to think we need to be independent or as independent as we can be of the middle east. in fact, the first president who coined the phrase "energy independence" was richard nixon, a republican. so maybe it was logical to think, well, if we make our own energy, then we will be more independent and self-sufficient. but this was before we found that we had all this inexpensive natural gas, around $2.75 per million btus. so now we are in the middle of the new american energy revolution. we've found that we have all this. and as john maynard keynes once
12:42pm
said, when the facts change, i change my mind. what do you do? well, the facts have changed. we have inexpensive energy right here without having to ask iran or saudi arabia to send it over to us. we have so much natural gas that now we're talking about exporting liquid natural gas. as daniel yergin describes in an op-ed in today's "wall street journal": it's so cheap that chemical manufacturers are being attracted back to america, it's so cheap that russia is worried that it's hold on the eastern european economies is going to fail because we can now supply them with natural gas instead of russia being their sole supplier. in this environment subsidizing wind and solar makes no sense. also five years ago we thought that china and india and other emerging economies might sign
12:43pm
onto emissions reductions. and, therefore, that if we reduced e many uses -- emissions, perhaps global temperatures would be reduced. and i don't take a position on whether manmade emissions cause global warming or not, but if we are reducing our emissions and china and india which make up 37% of the world's population are not doing so, we're not going to have any effect on global temperatures. and in the first chapter of the book, i talk about geoengineering solutions that nobel prides-winning scientist paul krugman thinks can reduce global temperatures if we just do it on our own such as spraying clouds with water or painting roofs white to reflect the sun's rays. what we're doing with the $12 billion that we're spending on alternative energy is pushing people into cars they don't want
12:44pm
to buy, we're raising electricity costs, we are pushing -- we are getting rid of incandescent lightbulbs in favor of flour rest sent lightbulbs. and the cost of this falls disproportionately on those who are least able to afford it. the lowest fifth of the income distribution according to recent data last month published by the bureau of labor statistics spend 24% of their income on electricity, natural gas and gasoline. that's right, a household in the bottom fifth spends 24% of its income on energy compared to an average of 7% for american households in general. the top fifth, 4% of their income is spent on energy. it's just strange that well-intentioned people who purport to rent the interest -- to represent the interests of the poor are advocating policies that are going to do them harm rather than good.
12:45pm
well, in addition to hurting the poor and putting taxpayer money at risk, industrial policies to promote solar and wind are also undesirable because they create opportunities for political influence on what should be decisions on the merits. take bright source energy, for example, an oakland, california, company that received $1.6 billion in energy department loan guarantees. e-mails specifically refer to vice president joe biden's involvement in the $1.6 billion grant. it's for the proposed ivan power solar power project in the desert in southern california. an e-mail from bright source energy's subcontractor, bechtel systems and infrastructure, dated december 2, 2009, said that biden met weekly with energy secretary steven chu to discuss the energy department loan guarantees.
12:46pm
bernard tune who was biden's chief of staff when he was a senator in the senate was a principal vice president and manager for bechtel. in an e-mail to bright source ceo john woolard dated december 3, 2009, tune wrote, quote: calls are in to biden's staff, and i will be approaching the political affairs office at the white house tomorrow as well. as this prompt could benefit -- project could benefit two democratic senators who are in cycle and whose races already tough next year, barbara boxer of california and majority leader senator reid from nevada. both won re-election in 2010. over a year later, in march 2011, bright source still had no loan. ceo woolard sent an e-mail to jonathan silva who was energy director of the energy department's loan guarantee program. he was responsible for making sure that these loans went
12:47pm
through. woolard wanted silva to draft, to review a draft e-mail that jon bryson, who was chairman of the board of bright source energy, was planning to send to william daley who was then-chief of staff to president obama at the white house. quote, and this is from the e-mail: either e-mail or call when you can with suggestions, woolard wrote. the e-mail stated, quote: the white house needs to focus on finalizing the loan guarantee for what would be the largest solar/thermal project in the world. bright source energy's ivan power project was conditionally approved more than a year ago and is in the final stages of being completed. we need a commitment from the white house to quarterback loan closure between omb and doe by march 18th, end quote. at a house energy and commerce subcommittee meeting last may, chairman jim jordan said to
12:48pm
woolard, quote: you're asking the guy who's in charge of making the final decision to proofread an e-mail that your chairman was going to send to white house chief of staff, and you say there's no political involvement? well, in another coincidence or not the loan received final approval in may 2011, a month after silva reviewed the proofreading request which he reviewed as the e-mails can be seen from his personal account, his personal e-mail account, not his department of energy account. the draft e-mail to daley had served its purpose. after all, if a political appointee in the energy department knows that the white house chief of staff is concerned about a loan in the his portfolio, he will quickly deal with it. as we all know, white house involvement in bright source energy was not an isolated incident. the energy and commerce committee of the house of representatives has published
12:49pm
e-mails that specifically refer to biden and his staff as advocating for solyndra, the solar panel company that received $528 million in loan guarantees before declaring bankruptcy in september 2011. solyndra was rushed through in september 2009 so that vice president biden could appear at the opening on september 4th. on august 31st, four days beforehand, a communications aide to the vice president asked them to speed this up, and there was pushback from career staff at the office of management and budget. kevin carroll, who was chief of the office of management and budget's energy staff, replied, quote: i would prefer that this announcement be postponed. this is the first loan guarantee, and we should have a full review wit
12:50pm
12:51pm
12:52pm
. >> so this is the choice that we're going to have before us, and to me it seems clear the way to go. well, i'd like to thank all of you for listening, and i'd be very happy to take any questions. >> thanks diana. if i could just lead off with one question. among the natural gas reserves that you refer to, of course, are very substantial natural gas reserves in this state, upstate new york. if by some fluke you had the ear of governor cuomo regarding the potential for hydrofracking and the decision that he is facing, what might you say to him? >> i would certainly say to look at the example of pennsylvania which has created many, many jobs through hydrofracturing, is
12:53pm
doing very well this that regard, and they haven't experienced environmental problems. and with new york's budget deficit, it seems obvious that hydrofracking is the way to go. and, of course, governor you mow is set -- cuomo is free to set whatever regulations he wants around that to insure the safety of water quality and other things that residents are concerned about. but i would say that the project should proceed. it's brought benefit to other states. there's no reason that new york should be left behind. >> okay. questions? yeah, right in front. wait for the microphone. >> paul lintos. i wanted to ask you, you gave very good examples of unsuccessful creation of new green jobs. have you also looked at elimination of existing jobs?
12:54pm
>> the cost benefit analysis for mercury was a travesty. if you look at the cost benefit analysis carefully, all the benefits from reducing mercury came from getting rid of particulates, and particulates were not the focus of that particular regulation. and what was interesting is the benefits focused on additional days of school. in other words, fewer days of school missed because of lower levels of particulates, in particular because of par -- particulates' relation to asthma. but what's interesting is over the past 25 years the level of particulates in our air has gone down tremendously mostly because of the switch from leaded to unleaded gasoline, but at the same time the incidence of asthma is going up. so the centers for disease control on its web site does not
12:55pm
have, show a strong link between asthma and particulates. but that was the basis of the mercury rule. and this this has resulted in vy large costs to coal mines, more coal-fired power program plantse going to have to close because of this. we've already had 110 coal-fired power plants close since january 2010ment -- 2010. and it's also interesting that whereas epa seems very concerned about airborne mercury, they don't seem to be concerned about us bringing it into houses in fluorescent lightbulbs. [laughter] so if you look at the epa web site, it has strict instructions what to do if you have one of these flores sent pull bs that breaks because, apparently, it contains mercury. according to the web site, you're supposed to clear the room for 15 minutes. you're not allowed to sweep up the broken bulb. you need to moisten a paper towel or take some sticky tape
12:56pm
to pick up the bits. then you need to take the entire broken bulb to a recycling center. now, how many people are going to be bothered to do in? and this is because the lightbulb contains mercury. so why they're bringing it into people's homes if they're so concerned about it as to close many mines and coal-fired power plants? it doesn't make any sense. >> david malpass. thank you, diana. [inaudible conversations] >> aha. thank you, diana. the department of energy loan guarantee program, is it still operating? and how do they still get money? what's the funding flow to that program? and do you think there should be sup a program at all? -- such a program at all? >> they had to spend all the money by last september. there are still projects that are out there, many of them are
12:57pm
experiencing difficulties. and i think that there should not be a program at all. i think there should be an even playing field between all forms of energy. they should all get the same domestic manufacturing deduction which is 9%, and they shouldn't have any special tax breaks. the problem is that we're subsidizing this energy, we're paying for it, and it's making everyone's lives worse off. it's making our utility bills more expensive rather than less expensive. and this isn't something we want to be doing. >> [inaudible] >> well, the, the losses are already hitting it as, for example, the $528 million that won't be repaid, and we're hearing about more bankruptcies, so as these companies go bankrupt, we will be incurring losses. some of them might succeed, and in that a case we would be in this an even position budget wise. but i don't think any of them
12:58pm
will result in big gains for the government. and the reason is that any company that can get a loan from a bank or can get support from a venture capitalist or a entrepreneur will do that. so the government is basically left with the dregs of the projects, and that's why they have a lower success rate than the ones out in the private sector. they start out with a biased sample. >> stanley. >> thank you. stanley goldstein. to what extempt are republicans -- extent are republicans responsible for this since we've controlled the house for two years, and we can stop just about any allocation of funds? are we at all the too? >> i think that the republicans are more at fault because during the last decade we actually put in place the loan guarantee program. we put in place the mandates to use ethanol, 13 billion gallons this year moving up to about 36 billion gallons in 2020 or 2025.
12:59pm
so we originated this. and i'm a little bit embarrassed to say so, i be when i -- but when i worked at the white house in 2001 and 2002, there was very much awareness of environmental issues, and there were certain things done because we wanted the environmentalists to like us. and the republicans should just do the right thing. everyone should just do the right thing without worrying about the kind of compliant mentality, who's going to like us, who isn't going to like us. so there's an idea of appealing to these particular groups. and it was difficult for the house republicans these past tw years to -- two years to stop any spending the way that these large spending bills work. once a program is in the system, there's people who just keep it going. and the time, what we need to do right now at the end of the year, a lot of these tax credits are going to expire; the wind credit, the solar credit. we should just let those expire.
1:00pm
in fact, some wind companies such as vespa are already laying off workers because they don't expect the wind tax credit to be extended. and we really need to get rid of the ethanol mandate, because it's hitting what's called the blend wall. we are using less and less gas lean, but the requirement for -- gasoline, but the requirement for using ethanol is going up, and we only use 10% ethanol in our gasoline. and so there isn't any way to use the amount that congress mandated back in the last decade. and that's also something that needs to be changed. >> yes, over here. >> david musher. if i recall correctly, i believe it was the eisenhower administration that put in the interstate highway system. i might be mistaken. >> that's right. yeah, they started it off. >> is there, is there a way in which -- or do you think there is a way in which the federal
1:01pm
government could provide an infrastructure such that the automobile industry could shift to natural gas, for example, or even batteries if they wish, if people wished to have that on a national, on a national way? >> so the government has already provided grants to battery companies, and last week another one went bankrupt, a123 battery company. compact power red -- run by lg is another company laying off workers, so i'm not sure that the government has a role. ..
1:02pm
natural-gas is so expensive now that private companies have the incentive to do this, and of government just picks one of these nitpicks charging up the vehicle in people's homes which is one way to go or charging of the vehicles that gas stations were probably taking a nap to draw the wrong kind of technology. just as though all these concerns about electronic medical records would sound like a good idea at the time but is causing innumerable headaches for doctors and patients eye now, when the government picks the technology it is often 90 to pick the wrong one. if the private sector does it at least the wrong technology will be a drain on the taxpayer and add to our trillion dollar deficit. there you are.
1:03pm
>> thank you. i would like to known to which degree do you think that the united nations blueprint for the 21st century has contributed to the concentration of political power in the hands of the green lobby. >> well, the un has always been very encouraging of the green lobby. this screen job issue is not just an issue here in the united states. it is an issue also in your. it is being encouraged by the u.n. time being encouraged by meetings over the summer. but europe is also finding that green jobs are not all they thought that there would be. spain has just stopped its subsidy for solar power. a solar power does not work in sunny spain it is probably not going to work anywhere. gerry has also stopped its
1:04pm
subsidies for solar power. there are a lot of clouds in germany. but the un has had a very strong influence on less. >> po will not old enough to remember, but jimmy carter gave billions of dollars to up alternate energy projects. >> i do remember. i was of the people who had to wait in gas lines in the 1970's. >> to any of those plants still exist? i don't think it lasted more than a couple of years. secondly, are you familiar with another program where he gave money to build five different steel mills, four of went with -- board of which went bankrupt almost immediately and the fifth one put at a business the plan in kansas city in. >> well, jimmy carter's programs did not work then, as i
1:05pm
mentioned, i remember waiting in the 1970's in gas lines for one or two hours to fill up with gasoline in the western d.c. area. and just as these programs did not work then and they are not working now, they're unlikely to work in the future. it is just that the government is not good at picking winning projects. the government promised it would not have thought of picking the apple iphone five. that is something that is expensive, but people wait in line because they want to buy one. it is not necessarily technology that is an expensive that people want. a gizmo that people want, and they're willing to spend money on it, and we don't know what it is, but there are other small entrepreneurs, and i'm sure there are many in the audience to have a better idea than the folks down in washington. >> cliff sean burke. would you be in favor of a significantly higher gasoline tax to address the hidden social costs of pollution, what
1:06pm
economists refer to as externalities'? >> if i thought that gasoline were underpriced then, yes, i would be in favor of a carbon tax him and not just for gasoline, but that would affect all of energy, but i don't believe that energy is underpriced in the united states. there are many benefits of energy. more job mobility. gasoline, people being able to drive on trips, people being able to drive to get to work in places where public transportation does not run. and at lower priced energy and tax many back into the united states. and as a type of energy becomes more scarce, we see the price rising of its own accord. no gasoline is up to about 350 per gallon. almost twice what it was when president obama took office, although as many people point out, that is partly due because to the weakening dollar.
1:07pm
when they're is a shortage of one type of energy the price rises and people switch to other kinds of energy. i don't think that there are native externalities' in using energy and, in fact, if we don't pass any more energy regulations , there will continue to get clean, as all the equipment is taken off of the road for your age and new equipment is brought on. if i were to say, get rid of my 1995 jeep and by a 2005 jeep the air would be cleaner without any regulation, and it is true of other equipment also. >> a couple more questions. >> yes, sir. >> shops keep. i believe you said a moment ago that since 200010, sunday in 2010, over 100 koblenz. >> january 1st 2010 we have had 110 coal-fired plants close
1:08pm
down. that's what i said. >> that is a very large number. how many jobs have been lost on that? i have not really seen this britain out anyplace or given any degree of prominence. there have been articles about individual plant closings, but nothing about the magnitude of it. how many jobs and then lost? >> i don't have that number of hand. i can get back to you with that later. and we have gone from producing about 40 percent of our electricity would call to producing about 30%. interestingly enough, in one of the carbon rules that the in armored protection agency put out over the summer, they said that this carbon rule would have no cost on the coal industry. i had to read very carefully through the cost benefit analysis to figure out why there was zero cost. well, the answer was, they were not expecting even one additional coal-fired power sand
1:09pm
to be built. if none are built there is no cost a nickel industry. so they are just assuming goal of of the picture, and my colleague has written extensively about this. it is very interesting that president obama's says we should be more like china. well, china produces 70 percent of its electricity from coal and less than 2% from renewals. they are making these solar panels and wind turbines, exporting them to us for our use so our electricity becomes more expensive and then manufacturing because of the price of electricity here because over to china. it is very smart of these chinese, and it is completely legal. it is not as though they are engaging in anything under hand, and we are doing this to ourselves. a need to use our own resources, focus on the benefits of inexpensive energy. >> diana, you mentioned exports before and the possibility for exports. we had a project of the power
1:10pm
and growth initiative, which you are aware of, of course, predicated on the idea that america can be what we call the new middle east. wonder if you can talk a little bit about why you feel that exports of energy, natural gas, well, actually is practical at this point? >> so, "we used to import, we imported a lot of natural gas. what is really interesting is to see the forecast two or three years ago for imports of natural gas. those were headed steadily of. now instead of the forecast, we head down. there are companies that now want to export from and it is not just important because it brings as revenues. it is good for our trade balance, but it is also good for geopolitical reasons. it enables us to offset the power, the economic power of countries such as russia that have other countries such as its former satellite republics, the
1:11pm
eastern european economies under its thumb. and this can bring as tremendous benefit, not just in the united states. we also want to import more oil from canada through the keystone pipeline. that gives more jobs our refineries in the gulf of mexico because the supplies of oil that they are getting from venezuela and mexico are dwindling. and so we can also be exporting oil, oil products that we don't use here in the united states, but that are used elsewhere in the world. >> the name of the book is "regulating to disaster." it is available in the back. i suspect diana is willing to sign your copy. thank you very much. >> thank you very or listening. [applause]
1:12pm
one. >> the newest book is called who stole the american dream. he joins us on book tv.
1:13pm
>> yet to get into the whole story the last 34 years. it happens inside the economic system. the middle class gets cut out of its share of american growth and prosperity. that is basically american corporate leaders doing that. there is a big power shift in washington. it is led by a guy named lewis powell, the supreme court justice before you went on the court. a secret memo to the business leaders of america. you're getting taken to the cleaners by the consumer movement, by the environmental movement, the labor movement. you have to get into washington and get in the game. ever since then, we have had a policy tilt since the late 1970's. for a policy tilt that has built the middle-class and as don uphill. it's both political and economic. not just a bunch of guys sitting around and around saying let's screwed a middle-class. it happened historically, but if we don't understand how wind why
1:14pm
we're not going to get to a good fix of our situation right now. >> what is one example of how the middle class in your view has gotten hurt. >> take the retirement program. came in in place of lifetime pensions, shifted hundreds of billions of dollars from the accounting of corporations on to the shoulders of the middle-class. take the housing crisis. $6 trillion of accumulated wealth and the mortgages in the equity in american homes was moved during the housing boom, not the bust, the boom. 6 trillion move from middle-class to wall street. to be enormous changes involve that happened during this time. >> when do you start forming the idea to write this book? your previous book was the power game. >> to be perfectly honest, i'd done a bunch of documentary's for pbs on is walmart good for america, can you afford to retire, the wall street takes the reader economy into economics and politics. i s